Wayne Hussey Solo Show + David Knopov
Wednesday 3rd May 2018
@ Philharmonic Music Room
I was first introduced to The Mission by a female goth I met at an early Deacon Blue pub gig, she was a huge fan of The Mission and All About Eve. She gave me tapes of both (note to copyright holders – I later bought the CDs!) and I must admit that whilst I immediately loved All about Eve, it took me a bit longer to get into The Mission, like all good things, they take more effort to get into, but are worth it.
A few months later the girl dumped me (by post, in a black envelope – forever the goth, even if she did like a bit of Deacon Blue on the sly!) but I have to thank her for introducing me to The Mission, who I went to see the week that their second album “Children” came out.
30 years on, I thought Wayne Hussey’s solo show sounded interesting:
Wayne says: “I was talking with Cinthya, my wife, and she was asking me what would I would most like to do for my birthday. Besides the obvious I replied, ‘play a show’. And she suggested I do so. As the band is on a sabbatical it has to be solo. And as rehearsing for one show takes as much time and preparation as it does for a whole tour one thing led to another and here I am. I shall expect lots of presents and happy birthday to be sang to me at all these shows,” Wayne smirks.
He continues, ‘I’m writing my memoirs at the moment and it’s keeping me rooted indoors and to my desk so a chance to get away and make a bit of music for a couple of weeks will be more than welcome, I expect, come May. I’m sure cabin fever will have set in by then.”
David and Wayne were in a Liverpool punk band called Ded Byrds in the late 70s, so he chose him for the support slot tonight, the first time in nearly 40 years that they have shared a stage.
Apparently David does a Frank Sinatra show called “Perfectly Frank”, which doesn’t surprise me as the music he played tonight was very much in the Frank Sinatra Jazz / Swing mould, and I can imagine he’s spot on.
A great showman and singer, and perfect opening for the night.
From what I can remember of seeing The Mission 30 years ago, Wayne took himself very seriously, and remained “in character” throughout the show. I remember someone trying to get on the stage, and the security grabbing them, and him pointing and saying “Let him come, he’s cool” like a preacher from the pulpit. Tonight he was relaxed, confident, full of wit and charm. If he ever fancied a break from music, I’m sure he could have a side-career as a stand up comedian, because he had the audience in stitches several times.
He said he’s got a book of 140 songs he can play … badly! But despite his self-deprecating humour, the ones he played, he played well, extremely well!
His shows are very interactive, asking the audience what songs they wanted to hear, unsurprisingly most of the requests were for Mission songs, with one guy in the audience summing it up “Anything by The Mission”.
One of the more surprising choices of the night was “You’ll never walk alone”. If you consider that Wayne is a big Liverpool FC supporter (despite the fact he was born in Bristol) then I suppose it’s not that surprising, but it’s not a song I ever imagined him performing, yet his distinctive voice fitted it perfectly.
After the song he asked if there were any Everton fans in tonight, of which there were several, it was all good-natured though, we were all Mission fans tonight.
He performed a song he wrote in the 1970s when he lived in Liverpool, called Louise, he alleged it was written about one of his ex’s who was in the audience tonight! Really enjoyable song, and just shows he’s always been incredibly talented.
The songs alternated between acoustic guitar, piano and electric guitar with backing track, giving a nice mix, all of which were enjoyable.
He finished off on the acoustic guitar with a medley, and a particularly aggressive start to “Wasteland”, into “Like a Hurricane” and a superb version of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” before finishing off “Wasteland”.
A truly entertaining show, well worth catching him if you get a chance.
Wayne’s autobiography, working title ‘By Name And By Nature’, is expected early next year and will be published by Omnibus Press.